Baku, Washington focus on defense cooperation

By: Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan and the United States have discussed the cooperation in defense sphere during U.S. navy delegation’s visit to Baku.

President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by the United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on November 7.

President Aliyev recalled his meeting with Mabus which had taken place four years ago, noting that his current visit will create a good opportunity to discuss the cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S. in the field of defense.

He highlighted long-term defense cooperation, saying Azerbaijan spares no efforts to ensure stability in the region. The president noted that the situation in the region has changed a lot recently.

Mabus, for his part, recalled with pleasure his visit to the country, stressing that the Azerbaijani armed forces are successfully cooperating in Kosovo, Iraq, and currently in Afghanistan as part of the International Peacekeeping Mission.

Azerbaijan has been a member of the NATO-led ISAF operation in Afghanistan since 2003. The Azerbaijani peacekeeping contingent doubled in 2009.

Currently, some 90 Azerbaijani servicemen are part of those international forces securing safety in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan is also among the eight partner countries that have approved an extension of troops operating in Afghanistan.

The U.S. official also underlined the importance of trainings, mutual exchange of experience and cooperation in the field of military education.

On the same day, Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov also met the U.S. delegation.

The meeting featured discussions on the military-political situation in the region, successful cooperation as part of the peacekeeping mission, as well as military education, training and mutual exchange of experience areas.

Since Azerbaijan’s emergence as an independent nation in 1991, the U.S.-Azerbaijan relationship has evolved into a strategic partnership based on mutual interests and common values.


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